It’s been six months since the pandemic began, and life as we know it has changed. For many of us, working and attending school from home are trends that show no signs of stopping in the foreseeable future. Adjustments have been made: the kitchen table is now the office, the dining room is a classroom, and we are all spending more time outdoors to avoid cabin fever.
Builder: Toll Brothers | Surfrider: P500200-141
At the beginning of the pandemic, the country was easing into springtime and summer. Plenty of daylight was available for work and play. Natural light streamed into the windows as you worked, and more inside activities took place outside, with outdoor surroundings often becoming a favorite backdrop for digital meetings.
As the days grow shorter, more time will be spent inside working, learning, and just plain living in our homes. Here’s how some of our expert partners deal with the unique interior design and lighting challenges of creating new work/learn/live from home spaces.
Working from Home
Builder: Toll Brothers | Photography: Taylor Photo | Briarwood: P400048-020
Possibilities for Design of Denver CO, shares insight from founder Doris Pearlman, reflecting her teams’ philosophy on how the pandemic has affected daily life and spaces.
“As designers, our goal is always to create spaces that uplift and embrace, providing a respite from daily pressures. The COVID crisis has shown us all the importance our environment plays on our wellbeing,” said Pearlman.
Some ways that Possibilities for Design sees lighting is helping to refine the COVID recovery include installing fixtures above desks to make to make a functional, operational space; and using pendant lighting above kitchen islands, that often function as work and school space to compliment a space’s ambient light, creating a viable space for collaboration.
Image courtesy of True Vine Creations | Five-light Chandelier: P4217-20
Julie Wynalda, owner of True Vine Creations in Hudsonville, MI, says: “It’s important to have lighting that sets the tone for productivity. For some people, this might mean bright lighting and multiple light sources. Other people might find their best work environment is low lighting with a low-key moody vibe. Making your WFH spot your own is what’s most important.”
Image courtesy of Operation Tudor Revival | Caress: P4645-104WB
Instagram influencer Heather, of Operation Tudor Revival, focused on replacing an overhead light to serve a dual purpose. “I decided to go with an overhead chandelier with a drum shade for an updated look, and the shade also helps diffuse the light to avoid glare on my computer screen. Office lighting can be both functional and fabulous!”
Learning from Home
Image courtesy of Fridley Custom Homes | Ratio: P3604-09
Learning from home presents unique challenges, and designer Jayme Fridley, of Fridley Custom Homes in Salem OR, deploys several strategies for her own family. She suggests creating a specific learning area for each child that is well-lit, including natural light if possible. “Bright lights can encourage concentration at the child’s desk or workstation,” said Fridley. “Try to keep the area as tidy as possible. The organization of thoughts can often be affected by a distractable space.”
Living at Home
Image courtesy of Lindsey Dalton | Astra: P400109-020
Blogger Lindsey Dalton advises that proper lighting control is essential. “We put our chandelier on a dimmer, so it can be nice and bright while we are working. But we can turn it down when we eat dinner to transition the room from workday to a relaxing evening.”
Photo courtesy of iDevices and Jared Kuzia
Cutting-edge products like those offered by smart home brand iDevices, also a member of the Hubbell Incorporated family, allow you to control light fixtures with phones, tablets or voice, changing the tone, brightness, and even the color of the light. With the iDevices smart Dimmer Switch and Wall Switch, lights can be dimmed or brightened automatically, or on a schedule you set. Delineating a start and stop time to your day can help optimize your overall productivity. Plus, optimizing the light automatically throughout the day can help with well-being and mood.